South Africa: Geography & Environment

Nicholas Banks

World History – Hjelmgren

May 6th, 2009, Period 7

South Africa: Geography & Environment


South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. Two big oceans meet at the southern tip of this country. The Indian warm waters meet with the Atlantic cold waters at Cape Agulhas not the Cape of Good Hope which is very commonly mistaken (www.southafricatravel.net). When the warm, and cold waters mix with the Antarctic circumpolar wind currents blowing from the west to the east; it causes dreadful winter storms and waves that are up to 30 meters high (www.southafricatravel.net)

The weather in South Africa is beautiful, even though you may think it is so far south that it would not get very warm. There are many climate zones in South Africa because of the mountains, oceans, and deserts. In the Kalahari basin temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The rain in this climate zone is scarce and it rarely exceeds 10 cm of rain per year (www.southafricatravel.net). It will rain a lot between the months of December and April, when there are thunderstorms that turn the desert basin into an oasis filled with flowers and green vegetation (Southafricatravel.net) The low temperatures rarely drop down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, although in the desert there are insanely cold nights. In the area of Drakensberg of KwaZulu-Natal temperatures sink lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, this makes it cold enough to snow (www.southafricatravel.net)

South Africa has many geographical features that impact the development of society. South Africa is a peninsula, which makes it easy to trade with countries other than the countries in Africa. There are many harbors which make it easier to import and export. One of South Africa’s biggest exports is wine. South African wine exports are still doing well despite the economic problems throughout the world (southafrica.info) South Africa is the 10th largest wine producer in the world (Southafrica.info) This is a unique feature to have because grape vines cannot just be grown anywhere, and South Africa has the perfect balance of climate to grow grapes. The nutrients and minerals in the soil also affect the quality and taste of the grape vines. They also export gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment (infoplease.com).

Chacma Baboons are soon to be extinct. At this rate, in 10 years there will be no more Chacma baboons in South Africa. Currently there are only about 250 of these rare baboons left. They lived in the south, but once people started living there, the people destroyed the baboons’ habitat and the baboons were left to run around with no homes (Thomas). The Riverine rabbit is also endangered; there are less than 250 adult rabbits in the world, not only in South Africa (GoNomad.com).

Prolonged droughts are a big issue in South Africa because the people of South Africa need their fresh water in order to keep up with their hygiene and health(Mongabay.com). People are also using so much water that there is none to be stored and conserved. Theoretically the people are using more water than they have due to the lack of rainfall. Many people are polluting the freshwater supply. People are throwing hazardous wastes into the rivers and runoffs but they still expect fresh water available for them at any time(Mongabay.com).



Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography                                                          Nicholas Banks                                                                                                                                        5/5/09

 BIBLIOGRAPHY Alternative Travel, Destination Guides, Travel Articles on GoNOMAD.com. 3 May 2009


        This source helped me find the temperatures of the different climate zones of South Africa.

CIA- The World Factbook - South Africa. 29 April 2009


        This source helped me because it stated straight up facts of things such as the capitol city and the mountains surrounding the area.

Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free online reference,

     research & homework help. &mdash; Infoplease.com. 3 may 2009  


        This source helped me because it told me the exports of South Africa.

Mongabay.com. 2005. 4 may 2009


        This source was helpful because it gave me the animals that were endangered in South Africa

South Africa - Online Travel Guide with Accommodation, Hotel Directory, Carhire, Tours. 3 May 2009


        This source was helpful because it told me the climate in South Africa and it gave me specific temperatures.

South Africa's officail gateway-investment travel, country information - SouthAfrica.info. 29 April 200

     9 <http://www.southafrica.info/about/geography/htm>.

Thomas, Lorna. Alternative Travel, Destination Guides, Travel Articles on GoNOMAD.com. 4 May 2009


        This source gave me only one endangered animal but there was a long caption about the animal and how it got endangered.

Last Updated May, 2009